20 April 2014

Private school chief linked to Islam Trojan Horse plot says: Stone all adulterers to death

A Muslim hardliner who says adulterers should be stoned to death and that gay men and fornicators should be lashed 100 times has set up an Islamic school that has received almost £1million of taxpayers’ money.

Ibrahim Hewitt, one of Britain’s most prominent Islamic firebrands – who also heads a charity branded a ‘terrorist’ organisation by the US – is the founder and chairman of trustees of the Al-Aqsa school in Leicester, which teaches 250 boys and girls aged between three and 11.

He has vilified homosexuals as paedophiles and said a man can take on a second wife if his first fails to satisfy him sexually. Mr Hewitt has published his views in a book on Islam, which he claims has sold more than 50,000 copies in Britain.

[A COMMENT] When are the idiots in charge of us going to wake up and smell the coffee?... [Daily Mail] Read more

We must confront the challenge of Islamism

According to a special report by the Education Funding Agency, radical Muslims have tried to take control of teaching by first taking control of school governorships. Excellent head teachers were either reduced to the status of figureheads or forced out of their jobs. Girls at Park View and Golden Hillock were made to sit at the back of the class.

At Park View, loudspeakers were used to “broadcast the call for prayer across the school” and a person known for loathing Jews and admiring al-Qaeda addressed an assembly. At Golden Hillock, some Christian pupils were left to “teach themselves” in RE classes.

At Oldknow, Christmas activities were stopped, there were subsidised trips to Mecca and one teacher led an anti-Christian chant in assembly. At Nansen, there were “no lessons in the humanities, arts or music” for an entire year group. Arabic, however, was compulsory learning across the entire school. [The Telegraph] Read more

Ofsted chief Wilshaw takes charge of Trojan Horse

.... Michael is expected to go to Birmingham this week to finalise the reports from these inspections.

Ofsted and the Department for Education are expected to publish their findings in early May.

The Department for Education has ordered its own review of the evidence in the so-called Trojan Horse conspiracy.

There have been claims that a hardline Muslim faction had sought to gain influence over schools and remove staff who were not sympathetic to their religious agenda.

Ofsted has not commented on claims that leaked inspection reports show serious problems in some schools. [BBC] Read more

“Meeting the needs of Muslim pupils”

More of those in Britain who declare themselves to be Muslims than Christians practice their faith. But only a minority adhere to the Salafist version of Islam, and not all of them will agree that, in school, “boys should always be covered between the navel and the knee and girls should be covered except for their hands and faces, a concept known as ‘hijab’ ” (especially in primary school, or before those girls have reached puberty, or both).

[A COMMENT] I dont understand why people did not see this problem coming.

It is obvious that Muslims cannot be trusted with the governance of free schools, therefore these schools should be brought back to state governance immediately or closed.

If they want madrassa's they should do it on their own time.

[ANOTHER] Multiculturalism just doesn't work and we shouldn't pander to it - in education or anywhere else. .... Gove's mistake on free schools was not the concept, which is excellent, but his reliance on OFSTED, which is not fit for purpose. [ConservativeHome] Read more

Hudud cannot exist alongside secular law

Hudud cannot exist alongside secular criminal law and has no place in multiracial Malaysia, said MIC.

Its legal adviser Selva Mookiah said that hudud would create conflicts with the country’s secular criminal law system and the Federal Constitution.

“The Kelantan MPs will of course score vital points among the conservatives by proposing a hudud system to govern the Muslims but they should at least stop to ponder what happens when the two systems collide,” Selva said in a statement.

Citing recent “conversion, divorce, custody care and control of minors debacles”, he said there were many reasons why the hudud and secular criminal law systems would fail to exist parallel to each other. [The Star Online] Read more

19 April 2014

Fatwa banning election of secular candidates in Iraq criticized

.... an Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah in Iraq named Kazem Al-Haeri has recently issued a fatwa (religious decree) which forbids the election by Shiites of any "secular" candidate in this upcoming election.

Haeri used to be a member of the Dawa Party which is headed by the present Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, whose second term in office — which began in 2010 — is coming to an end. [Digital Journal] Read more

Hunt warns against schools extremism in Birmingham

In a speech to the NASUWT teachers' union, Mr Hunt said schools should not have "gender-based segregation" and that teachers must not be "undermined".

Mr Hunt welcomed Birmingham council's investigation into the "so-called Trojan Horse conspiracy".

The Department for Education is also examining claims of schools being "taken over" by Muslim hardliners.

The inquiries follow an anonymous letter alleging that factions within the Muslim community were seeking to gain influence over schools in Birmingham.

[A COMMENT] There should be no place for religion in schools. It is indoctrination of children. France have got this right.

[ANOTHER] Welcome to the reality of out-of-control immigration in Britain. You are reaping what you sowed. [BBC] Read more

Birmingham's schools must prepare pupils for a multicultural Britain

I received emails from two Brummies desperately concerned about the controversy sweeping the second city's schools.

With fears of an Islamist "takeover" of some Birmingham schools by militant school governors, the first correspondent demands "much more clarity in what defines a state school funded by taxation". He wants the bonds of our multicultural society strengthened through education. "No uniforms chosen by one section of society. No public money on religious visits."

The second correspondent, by contrast, positions the controversy within the context of "the change through generations of the composition and governance of schools in inner-city areas which have large Muslim populations". He points to the success of some Birmingham schools as being dependent upon "a recognition of Muslim identity – making the pupils feel more at ease at their first public institution".

[A COMMENT] F**k 'multicultural' Britain. Whatever our race or colour we're British. We choose to live here.

We should embrace and celebrate it. Just as in the US, where millions of schoolkids salute the flag and revere the Constitution, whatever their background, so we should teach our kids to be British. Or if we don't like it, we should piss off and live somewhere more to our liking. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Islamist plot: six schools face Ofsted special measures

At least six Birmingham schools at the centre of an alleged Islamic takeover plot are set to be placed in “special measures” by Ofsted in a move that could see their entire leadership removed.

The six schools are implicated in the so-called “Trojan Horse” plot by extremists to “Islamise” secular state education in Birmingham which has allegedly seen the illegal segregation of pupils and discrimination against non-Muslim pupils.

[A COMMENT] What happened to the country I was born in? It's like a nightmare..... I cannot believe what is happening in England and why our politicians permitted this to happen. This is a national emergency - the enemy is already within. A truly terrifying story. All voters need to wake up and use their votes to eject the current political class who have betrayed our country. [The Telegraph] Read more

Shadow education secretary warns against religious extremism in schools

Tristram Hunt, the shadow education secretary, will warn on Saturday that "the pursuit of a divisive religious extremism" – as shown in an alleged conspiracy to take over schools in Birmingham – threatens to undermine Britain's modern multicultural society.

Hunt's remarks to the annual conference of the NASUWT teaching union in Birmingham follow the uncovering of a dossier named Operation Trojan Horse, claiming to reveal a plot to overthrow teachers and governors insecular state schools in the city and run them on strict Islamic principles. [The Guardian] Read more

18 April 2014

UK: Multiculturalism vs. Islamism

.... British Interfaith Dialogue is a natural product of multiculturalist policies: the division of citizens into pre-approved identities. The Inter Faith Network, in fact, rejects some religious groups, such as the minority Muslim Ahmadiyya community, as unsuitable partners for dialogue, apparently for fear of upsetting the Islamist-led organizations that make up its member bodies.

Just as multiculturalism offered supremacy to particular individuals and groups, so too, today, taxpayer-funded interfaith dialogue has damaged relations between different religious communities and has falsely legitimized Islamist groups as representative of all British Muslims. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

State schools isolate non-Muslims

Schools in Birmingham are illegally segregating pupils, discriminating against non-Muslim students and restricting the GCSE syllabus to “comply with conservative Islamic teaching”, an official report leaked to The Telegraph discloses.

Department for Education inspectors said that girls in a school at the centre of the so-called “Trojan Horse” plot were forced to sit at the back of the class, some Christian pupils were left to “teach themselves” and an extremist preacher was invited to speak to children.

[A COMMENT] Britain ended up this way because good people did nothing. [The Telegraph] Read more

17 April 2014

When Muslims renounce their faith

Fearing ostracism by their family, or even death, many former Muslims keep their disbelief secret. A German organization offers support to people who leave Islam for another religion, or for none.

Turning away from Islam? No, she couldn't discuss the subject now, Minna Ahadi said quietly. The phone line faded in and out as her train went from one patchy wireless coverage area to the next. Yet it was not the bad connection that made Ahadi reluctant, but the subject. In a few hours she would be home, where she could talk openly. "But now, in the train, I cannot."

Later, back in her apartment, she apologizes and explains that she does not feel safe when she uses her name or the term "ex-Muslims" in public - even in Germany. She believes this fear is justified: Ahadi continues to receive anonymous letters threatening to shoot her, or warning she will die in a car accident. [Deutsche Welle] Read more

Brandeis University bows to Islamism

They must ponder the consequences of caving in to radical Islam’s increasingly outrageous demands.

There must be some serious soul-searching here.

It is time to protect the long-cherished ideal of free, critical thought, which the West has fought for through many of its own convulsions.

It is time to formulate a cogent response to Islamist assaults on freedom of speech and to implement it in an unflinching manner.

The comment of Brandeis president Fredrick Lawrence that the university chose to back down over the issue of Hirsi Ali’s honorary degree because of “certain of her past statements”, shows there is no place for him on the barricades of freedom.

[A COMMENT] I just keep posting my same, simple, summary: Islam is a bad fit in western society. [TORONTO SUN] Read more

Government review of the Muslim Brotherhood

.... The purpose of the review is to produce an internal report to the Prime Minister to inform government policy towards the Muslim Brotherhood.

The scope of the review covers the Muslim Brotherhood’s origins, philosophy, activities, record in and out of government; its organisation and activities in the UK and abroad which might put at risk, damage, or risk damaging UK national interests.

It will look at the Muslim Brotherhood’s impact on, and influence over, UK national interests, at home and abroad, as well as its wider influence on UK society. It will also look at current government policy as well as allies’ approaches and policies, and assess the implications for UK policy. [GOV.UK] Read more

Teachers call for Muslim pupils to be allowed to use Ramadan as grounds of appeal against poor exam results

Teachers are calling for GCSEs and A-level exams to be scheduled in the morning to help Muslim students who are fasting during Ramadan, it emerged today.

Hundreds of thousands of pupils across Britain could be forced to take 'large entry' tests, such as maths and English, before 12pm under a radical shake-up.

School exam boards and universities are considering the move over the next five years, when the religious period of Ramadan progressively clashes with the exam season in June.

[A COMMENT] When is this madness going to stop? Muslim children do NOT have to acquiesce to the no food rule at Ramadan. Well, put it this way, they don't in Iraq and Afghan where I work but possibly Birmingham and co have different rules. Gimme strength. Teachers who come up with this bile are obviously not fit for purpose.

[ANOTHER] This must be the most tolerant, accommodating, apologetic country in the world. Where else would anyone change their way of living to accommodate minorities they way we are forced to do, here? I would love to know who is responsible for all this. [Daily Mail] Read more

University of East London bans segregated Muslim event from its premises

I blogged yesterday about this "segregated" Muslim event organised by the Islamic Society of the University of East London, due to happen tonight at UEL's main lecture theatre on its Docklands campus.

Much to my surprise, UEL immediately banned it from their campus. See the reaction below by Peter Tatchell, who brought this to public attention:

[A COMMENT] In about 20 year they will reach the required demographic critical mass to impose their ways, and if you think the kind of spineless political ilk that governs our nations today in the West will do anything ,then you are sadly mistaken because they are petrified of the Frankenstein monster they have imported.

The Left is petrified of the truth and mainstream Conservatism Inc. is petrified of the Left. [The Telegraph] Read more

Anti-Muslim suspicion in Britain has a whiff of McCarthyism about it

Allegations that 25 schools in Birmingham are at risk of an "Islamic takeover plot" reached new levels of hysteria recently. An announcement was made that a counter-terrorism expert has been drafted in to conduct yet another investigation.

The minister responsible, Michael Gove, has managed at a stroke to increase fear and suspicion between Muslim and non-Muslim in the city.

[A COMMENT] There is no need to make untrue slurs about islam. There are quite enough damaging truths we can say about it. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Abdullah Al Dawood, Saudi Islamic Cleric, Claims PE Classes For Girls Is First Step To Prostitution

Saudi Arabia is getting closer to adding physical education classes for girls to public schools, but some conservative Islamic clerics are slamming the move as a "Western innovation," according to the Wall Street Journal.

After the kingdom's advisory Shoura Council voted 92-18 on Tuesday to advise the Ministry of Education to look into girls' P.E. classes, conservatives made their ire known on social media -- and they got very dramatic.

[A COMMENT] Women have suffered the most under the male-centered Abrahamic religions. It is so sad to think of the daily struggle many women face just to be treated as a fellow human in the Middle East, Africa,and among many conservative/fundamentalist religious groups in Europe and the US. [The Huffington Post] Read more

16 April 2014

Lutfur Rahman and police denials fall apart: there is a criminal investigation of Tower Hamlets

.... Panorama, too, alleged favouritism in the allocation of council grants and misuse of council resources for electioneering purposes. The fraud allegation didn’t form part of the programme because it wasn’t ready for broadcast in time.

But be in no doubt – as well as the auditor investigation into Tower Hamlets into all the non-criminal sleaze, there most certainly is an ongoing police investigation, for all the Met’s denials to the contrary.

[A COMMENT] So the corruption and nepotism that is endemic throughout the Islamic world is now becoming endemic in the predominantly Islamic areas of the UK, from Birmingham's school system to London's borough councils?

No one could have seen that coming. As we all know from our compulsory diversity awareness training, upon breathing the sweet British air foreigners Immediately abandon the centuries old customs of their homelands and become as British as you or I. [The Telegraph] Read more

Britain’s sharia councils and secular alternatives

In a secular legal system, the right to hold religious beliefs is absolute. However, the right to manifest those religious beliefs is limited by the need to respect the autonomy and rights of others.

A religious or theocratic legal system, on the other hand, does not recognise such limitations – its notion of justice rests instead on the supremacy of its own revealed truths and the whims of the – invariably male – clerical authorities who interpret them.

The Islamic Sharia Council based in Leyton, East London, is the largest Sharia body in the UK. Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad is a board member and its representative.

Amongst other things, he has stated that “a man should not be questioned why he has hit his wife, because this is something between them”.

[A COMMENT] Excellent article! Its a disgrace that these Sharia Courts are allowed to conduct business. [Left Foot Forward] Read more

15 April 2014

Pork is the latest front in Europe's culture wars

Following its significant gains in last month's local elections, the French Front National leader, Marine Le Pen, swiftly announced that school cafeterias would no longer serve non-pork substitution meals to children living in towns won by FN candidates.

Targeting Muslims for another ritual round of public humiliation, while also excluding Jewish children, Le Pen declared: "There is no reason for religion to enter the public sphere."

[A COMMENT] Regardless of whether or not you believe Halal slaughter is any worse than our traditional methods (I think it is), we have had a tradition in the UK of moving gradually towards more humane methods of farming and slaughter.

This move back to a religious-driven (as opposed to evidence-driven) method of slaughter should be discussed openly. If this adoption is occurring through state-provided services it is even more of a public concern. [Guardian Cif] Read more

14 April 2014

Gove is right to fail schools for religious bias

Here are five words that liberals should say more often: thank God for Michael Gove. The Education Secretary has sent dozens of inspectors to 15 state schools in Birmingham targeted by Islamic radicals – and now, reportedly, plans to extend the idea nationwide, with new powers for Ofsted to fail schools where religious conservatism prevents balanced learning. He has acted because he knows what others have too long ignored: that schools are the key battleground against Islamism in Britain.

.... Finally, it is sometimes said (not least on the BBC) that any extremist incidents that may have occurred were “isolated”. They weren’t – but even if they had been, can we seriously imagine that line being tenable if the position were reversed? Had there been even one teacher leading white children in anti-Muslim rhetoric, it would rightly be proclaimed a national scandal. [The Telegraph] Read more

France, Islam and the 'Spreading Hatred'

There's an area of French society bleak beyond any let's-pretend action-plan or incantatory chorus about brotherhood.

The country's existential problem of coming to terms with more than five million Muslims in its midst—and how these immigrants and citizens accommodate (or flout) French law and custom—is deepening into a new phase of what is described as intolerance, seeming incompatibility, and political polarization.

.... As real as discrimination against Muslims has become, researchers describe the growth of Muslim communities at the edges of large French cities that are developing parallel cultures. They are said to demand an allegiance to fundamentalist Islam, thus antagonizing the national majority's notion of the French way of life. [The Wall Street Journal] Read more

25 schools probed over alleged takeover plot

An investigation into an alleged hard-line Islamist takeover plot of Birmingham schools has widened, with 25 schools now under the spotlight.

Birmingham City Council said it had received more than 200 reports in relation to its inquiry.

It has appointed former head teacher Ian Kershaw as its chief advisor.

Anonymous claims hard-line Muslims were trying to take over the running of some city schools were made in a letter sent to local authorities last year. [BBC] Read more